John 14:16-18 • April 23, 2023 • s1344
Pastor John Miller continues our series Great Doctrines Of The Bible with an expository message through John 14:16-18 titled, “The Doctrine Of God The Holy Spirit.”
14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever-- 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In John 14, Jesus is in the upper room. Beginning in verse 16, we read, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper…”—or “Comforter,” in the King James translation—“…that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans…”—or comfortless”—“…I will come to you.”
Now skip down to verses 25-26, which says, “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
Next, jump down to John 15:26. It says, “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”
And in John 16:7-14, Jesus is still speaking and says, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage…”—or “expedient” or “profitable” or “beneficial”—“…that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper…”—there’s the Holy Spirit—“…will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict…”—or “reprove”—“…the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”
Billy Graham has written an excellent book titled The Holy Spirit, which is one of my favorites. In his chapter on the Person and work of the Holy Spirit, He said, “Man has two great spiritual needs: one is for forgiveness and one is for goodness.” I like that. And God has met both of those needs. Man’s cry for forgiveness was met at Calvary, where Jesus came from heaven and died on the Cross to pay for our sins, so we can be forgiven.
Man’s cry for goodness came on Pentecost when Jesus and the Father sent the Holy Spirit into the world, the church was born and the Holy Spirit came to establish the church. Now we have the presence of the Holy Spirit in the world.
So we have God meeting man’s need for forgiveness met at Calvary, and man’s need for goodness met at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came. God not only forgives our sins, He also gives us the Holy Spirit. Not only does He forgive us, but He transforms us by the power of His Holy Spirit.
We want to look now at what some call “the forgotten member of the Godhead,” one of the members of the Trinity—the Holy Spirit. Why is the Holy Spirit so forgotten and misunderstood? It’s understandable that we know the Father and the Son, but because the Spirit seems so elusive and so strange, it’s hard for us to wrap our minds around Him. So we must think Biblically on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.
When it comes to the Holy Spirit, people get emotional, sentimental and experiential. That’s okay, but all our experiences must be based on the Bible. You don’t judge whether your experience is real because you experience it; you judge it based on what the Bible teaches. So the objective truth of God’s Word is how we understand the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’ discourse, while in the upper room before He was crucified, covers John 13-17. It starts with Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. And it ends, in John 17, with Jesus praying His great, high-priestly prayer.
Here in our text, Jesus promises to send the Comforter, the Helper, the Parakletos. In John 14:16-18, Jesus said, “And I will pray the Father.” I want you to notice something: Jesus, God the Son, is speaking here. He is speaking to His Father. “…and He will give you another Helper” or “the Holy Spirit.” That becomes clear in verse 26, where Jesus says, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit….” So you have the Triune Godhead: Jesus, the Son, praying to God the Father, that He would send God the Holy Spirit.
Almost every phrase in these verses should be underlined or highlighted or starred with “Wow!” put next to them. I use the little phrase in my margins of “Red hot!” Everything Jesus says here about the Holy Spirit is worthy of our attention.
Continuing with verse 16, “…that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth…”—this is referring to the Holy Spirit, who leads us and guides us into all truth—“…whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” That’s a reference to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. “I will not leave you orphans…”—or “comfortless”—“…I will come to you.”
There are two words I want you to note. The first one is “Comforter” or “Helper,” in verse 16. It is the Greek word “Parakletos.” It means “a person who comes alongside of us to comfort.” And the word “comfort” means “to strengthen.” He is called the Comforter, because it conveys the idea of someone coming alongside to encourage you, to strengthen you and to comfort you.
When you feel alone and have a time of need, if somebody comes alongside you and puts his arm around you and says, “I’m with you. You can do this. I’m here to help,” you feel comforted.
The Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Godhead, is actually our parakletos, our comforter. So it’s a beautiful title for this Person of the Holy Spirit. He’s our Comforter.
Then in verse 18, Jesus said, “I will not leave you orphans” or “comfortless.” “I will come to you.” Everything Jesus says here is in the context of Him leaving them by way of the Cross and then the Resurrection and the Ascension back to heaven. Jesus is going back to the Father. But He will give them the Holy Spirit to comfort them, to strengthen them and to help them. So Jesus said, “I will not leave you comfortless.”
“Comfortless” is the word “orphanos” here. And we get our word “orphans” from it. So Jesus is saying that He’s not going to leave them orphans; they’re not going to be all alone. He will send the Holy Spirit, who will come to them. This is the promise of Jesus, that He would send the Holy Spirit.
There are two, basic questions I want to ask about the Holy Spirit and seek to answer: number one, “Who is the Holy Spirit?” and number two, “What does the Holy Spirit do?” There is a lot that can be said to answer both questions, but I’ve reduced it down. So we want to look at His Person and His work.
Number one, “Who is the Holy Spirit?” There are two basic answers. First, He is a person, and second, He is a divine Person.
Let’s look at the Holy Spirit as a person. Why would we point out that the Holy Spirit is a person? Unlike the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit seems impersonal. And the word “Spirit” is actually neuter. So it’s hard to understand that He is a person. And unfortunately in Romans 8:16, and in other places in the New Testament, the Spirit is called an “it,” because this verse is grammatically interpreted. Verse 16, in the King James translation, says, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” But that is not theologically sound. So the grammar needs to bow to the theology of the truth of this doctrine.
So the Holy Spirit is not an “it,” He’s not a force or a power. The Jehovah’s Witnesses cult does not believe in the personage of the Holy Spirit. And they don’t believe in the deity of the Holy Spirit. But the two go together; if you believe the Holy Spirit is a person, then the next step is easier to believe that He is a divine Person. The Bible teaches both. He’s not just a personification of God’s power; He’s a person. He’s the Third Person of the Trinity, of the triune Godhead, and thus, He should be given worship and veneration and should be submitted to in our lives.
It’s difficult for us to wrap our minds around this, but how do we know that the Holy Spirit is a person? There are nine ways that we know He is a person. Number one, personal pronouns are used of the Holy Spirit. There are a few from our text. In John 14:16, it says, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He…”—the Greek word is “ekeinos,” which is the personal pronoun “He”—“…may abide with you forever.” The verse doesn’t say “it” but “He.”
Then verse 17 continues, “…the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” And this is found over and over again: a reference to the personal pronouns of the Holy Spirit. And in John 16:13-14, it says, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”
This is just a sampling of the Greek word “ekeinos,” the personal pronoun “He” or “Himself” used in reference to the Holy Spirit.
Number two, the name “Parakletos” implies personage. A force cannot comfort you, but a person can. So the personage of the Holy Spirit is conveyed or implied in the very term “Comforter.”
Number three, the Holy Spirit speaks. Revelation 2:7 says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” And John 16:13 says, “He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak.”
Did you know that the Holy Spirit speaks? When the Bible is preached and taught and you read the Scriptures, the Spirit of God takes the Word of God and speaks. You are hearing God the Holy Spirit speak when you read the Bible.
Some say, “Well, I want to hear God speak audibly.”
“Well then read it out loud.” It’s the Word of God. So the Spirit of God is speaking.
Number four, the Holy Spirit testifies. John 15:26 says, “The Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” That means the Spirit witnesses about Jesus. One of the Spirit’s most important jobs is to point people to Jesus Christ. He doesn’t point to Himself. When the Holy Spirit is moving in a church or in a person’s life, all praise, all focus, all glory is on Jesus Christ. If you go to a church service where all the attention and focus is on people, it’s not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is turning our attention to Jesus to worship Him.
Number five, the Holy Spirit leads. Acts 8:29 says, “Then the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go near and overtake this chariot.’” When Philip, the evangelist, went to Samaria, there was a successful revival going on, but the Spirit said to him to go out into the wilderness. Philip went out on the road to Gaza and saw an Ethiopian eunuch. Then the Spirit spoke to Philip and said, “Go join the guy in the chariot.” So Philip ran over to it, jumped in and shared Christ with the man from Ethiopia. So the Holy Spirit was leading Philip. And in Romans 8:14, it says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God,” or “the children of God.” So if we’re Christians, we should be led by the Holy Spirit.
Number six, the Holy Spirit guides. John 16:13 says, “When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.” He is the one who guides us and directs us.
Number seven, the Holy Spirit can be lied to, Acts 5:3. Remember what Peter said to Ananias when he was feigning to give all the lands and money to the church? He hypocritically acted as though he was giving it all. Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?” You can’t lie to a force; you can only lie to a person.
Number eight, the Holy Spirit can be grieved. This means He is subject to personal treatment. In Ephesians 4:30, Paul says, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” Basically, sin grieves the Holy Spirit.
If you’ve been born again and regenerated, you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. You can grieve the Holy Spirit, but you can’t grieve Him away; He won’t leave you. He will “abide with you forever.” But you won’t sense His presence. So when you are a Christian and allow sin to come into your life and it remains unconfessed, then you haven’t restored fellowship with God and you lose a sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit. You don’t lose His presence; you lose the sense of His presence. You lose His joy and peace.
In Ephesians 4:30-32, where it says, “Do no grieve the Holy Spirit of God,” Paul tells us what will grieve the Spirit of God: it’s “bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking…malice.” Then he says, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” These are the attitudes of our hearts that cause grief to the Holy Spirit of God. Like a dove, He is very sensitive, and He’ll fly away so that we lose the sense of His presence. So we don’t want to grieve the Holy Spirit. Rather be kind and forgiving toward others.
And number nine, the Holy Spirit can be blasphemed. Jesus warned us, in Matthew 12:31-32, “Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”
I don’t believe born-again Christians can blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Rather it is committed by unbelievers in their continual, ongoing rejection of the conviction of the Holy Spirit; that they are sinners in need of a Savior but are refusing to accept Christ. So when a nonbeliever says “No!” to the Holy Spirit’s conviction, in continual resistance, they can get to a point where they no longer can believe. That’s a dangerous position to be in. “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever.”
That’s why, “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” If the Holy Spirit is speaking to you and saying that you need to repent, you need to get right with God, you need to turn from your sin, but you say “No, no, no!” then you are in danger of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, which would not be forgiven.
So why is it important to know that the Holy Spirit is a person? Because He wants to lead us, to guide us and we can grieve Him. We need to be yielded to the Holy Spirit.
Secondly, the Holy Spirit is a divine Person. He is God. Number one, he is a person, and number two, He is a divine Person. In John 14:16, Jesus says, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.” The word “another” here literally means in the Greek, “another of the same kind.” Jesus was saying that He was going to go to the Father, but He was going to ask Him to send to you another of the same kind. So the Holy Spirit is a divine Person.
The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Godhead or the Trinity. When we baptize someone, we baptize them “in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” It would be blasphemous to include the Holy Spirit’s name in the baptismal formula if He were not divine with the Father and with the Son. So we baptize based on the commission Jesus gave in the Great Commission to go into all the world.
There are several attributes that show us His divinity. The Holy Spirit is eternal. Hebrews 9:14 makes reference to “the eternal Spirit.”
He is also all powerful or omnipotent. In Luke 1:35, when Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel, the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” It was the work of the Holy Spirit. They are two in the same. The “power of the Highest” is the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing about the conception of Christ in the womb of the Virgin Mary.
And the Holy Spirit is everywhere present or omnipresent. In Psalm 139:7, the psalmist David says, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” He is omnipresent.
The Holy Spirit is all knowing or omniscient. In 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 it says, “God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” It is a verse that refers to the searching Spirit; that He understands the things of God, because He is omniscient.
Next, the Holy Spirit is directly called “God” in the Bible. In Acts 5:3-4, Peter said to Ananias, “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?” Then Peter said, “You have not lied to men but to God.” So Peter is actually saying that the Holy Spirit is God, who is divine.
The Holy Spirit is also the creator, Genesis 1:2. “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” So God created the heavens and the earth, and then we have the Spirit of God hovering over the waters. In Colossians 1:16, speaking of Christ, it says, “By him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth.” So you have God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit all involved in creation.
So number one, the Holy Spirit is a person, and number two, He is a divine Person. To deny the personage or the deity of the Holy Spirit is unorthodox, heretical and is not Christian doctrine.
My second question is, “What does the Holy Spirit do?” We could take many weeks to answer this question. We could go all the way back to Genesis 1:2 where He was part of the creation of the heavens and the earth. We could go all through the Old Testament and the Gospels. An interesting study would be to look at the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus was led by the Spirit, He was filled with the Spirit, He was anointed by the Spirit.
What does the Holy Spirit do? He inspires Scripture or gives the Scripture by inspiration of God. John 16:7 says, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away.”
Put yourself in the minds of the disciples. Jesus said that it was better for them that He goes away. But they were thinking, No it’s not! They probably were really upset. That’s why in John 14:27, Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” And in John 14:3, He said, “I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
So in our text, Jesus wanted them to know something. He said that it was important, it was beneficial and it was expedient that Jesus goes away. Why? Because if He doesn’t go away, the Comforter will not come to them. But if Jesus departs, He will send the Comforter to them.
We don’t think about this a lot. Why is it better or more expedient for Jesus to go back to the Father than for Him to stay with the disciples? Two reasons. First, if Jesus went back to the Father and sent the Holy Spirit, the presence of Jesus was universalized. When Jesus was on earth in a body—even after His Resurrection—if He was in Galilee, He’s not in Jerusalem and if He’s in Jerusalem, He can’t be in Galilee. But when He went back to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit, wherever you go, wherever you travel, Jesus is there. That’s so awesome. So it universalizes the presence of Jesus.
Second, it internalizes the presence of Jesus. Christ is in every believer. Christ goes with you wherever you go. That couldn’t happen if Jesus didn’t go back to heaven and send the Holy Spirit. That’s why Jesus said it was better for you.
In John 14:12, in his upper-room discourse, Jesus told his disciples, “Greater works than these [you] will do, because I go to My Father.” He didn’t mean greater in quality, but greater in quantity, because they will take the Holy Spirit and go all around the world. That’s why in Acts 1:8, He said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
So the coming of the Holy Spirit was significant on the day of Pentecost. The church was born, Christ’s presence was universalized and His presence was internalized in every believer.
The first category of the work of the Holy Spirit I want to focus on is the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures. And I want to point out three things. Number one, the Holy Spirit is the one who gives inspiration of the Scriptures. In John 14:26, Jesus said to His disciples, “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” This is a reference to their ability to have Holy Spirit recall in writing the Gospels and to write about Christ in the epistles. That ability was through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It could secondarily be applied to us, but it is primarily applied to the apostles. They would have perfect recall of everything Jesus said, of everything Jesus did and of everything He taught them. The Holy Spirit would bring it to their remembrance. You can read it all in the Gospels where it was recorded.
The classic passage on the inspiration of the Scriptures by the Holy Spirit is in 2 Peter 1:20-21, in which Peter says, “…knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation…”—which means they didn’t write it out of their own mind—“…for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved…”—or “carried along” or “borne along”—“…by the Holy Spirit.” So when the Scriptures were written, the writers were “borne along by the Holy Spirit.”
This is a picture of a sailboat with the wind filling its sails and carrying the boat over the water. So when they wrote Scripture, the writers were being “borne along” by the Comforter or Parakletos, the Third Person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” the Holy Spirit.
Number two, the Holy Spirit gives us illumination of the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 2:9-13, there are two important doctrines of the Holy Spirit in relation to Scripture here. The Holy Spirit gives revelation, and He gives illumination. Paul says, “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’” This verse is often quoted by itself; they stop right there. They say that when we get to heaven, we can’t imagine what we’ll see there. We can’t imagine what we’re going to hear. We can’t imagine in our hearts what God has prepared for us.
But that’s not what this verse is about. Then notice verse 10: “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.” Why? “For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” So the natural mind, the natural eye, the natural heart cannot imagine the things of God. But God has revealed them to us by “His Spirit.” So the Spirit of God takes the Word of God and reveals to us the things of God. And only the Spirit of God can reveal God. You can’t understand God apart from His revelation.
Verse 12, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” So this is the doctrine of illumination. The Holy Spirit gives us the things of God.
Verse 13, “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
So this is teaching that the Holy Spirit not only inspires Scripture; but He also illuminates it. You have to have the Spirit of God explaining the Word of God.
Number three, the Holy Spirit brings transformation, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18. “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
When a Christian reads the Bible, he not only has illumination; he has transformation. It’s like seeing Jesus in a mirror. We are transformed into His image and likeness.
The second category of the work of the Holy Spirit is in salvation. Number one, He convicts of sin. John 16:8-11 says, “And when He…”—“the Holy Spirit”—“…has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”
The Holy Spirit has come into the world to do three things: “convict the world of sin…righteousness and…judgment.” You cannot become a Christian apart from the Holy Spirit. And you cannot be saved apart from the conviction of the Holy Spirit. You don’t just “try” Jesus. You don’t just give Him a chance in your life. You don’t come to Jesus because you want to be wealthy or healthy or wise. You come because you’re a sinner. You’re on your way to hell under the judgment of God, so you want to be saved and forgiven. So the Holy Spirit convicts you or convinces you that you need salvation and that Jesus is your Savior. That’s the work of the Holy Spirit.
Number two, when you believe in Jesus Christ and receive salvation, the Holy Spirit regenerates you, Titus 3:5. “…not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” This is one of the great verses on the work of the Holy Spirit. He washes us and regenerates us. The word “regenerate” means “to give new life.” So before you were saved, you were dead in sin and separated from God. But the moment you believed and trusted in Jesus Christ, you were regenerated.
We also use the term “born again.” Jesus told Nicodemus, “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God….Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” That is what constitutes being saved.
And regeneration is a divine work, which indicates that the Holy Spirit is God. He does what only God can do; He gives life to dead sinners. He regenerates them.
Number three, the Holy Spirit indwells them, Romans 8:9. “You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” Every Christian is a Christian because they have been regenerated, and everyone who has been regenerated is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, has the indwelling Spirit of God. There is no such thing as a born-again Christian who doesn’t have the Holy Spirit. So He indwells the believers. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God?”
Numbers four and five, we are also sealed, and He is the earnest of our inheritance, Ephesians 1:13-14. “Having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession.” So we are indwelt, sealed and given the deposit of the Holy Spirit.
And number six, He also fills the believer, Ephesians 5:18. “Do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” Every Christian has the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit doesn’t have every believer. Every Christian has all the Spirit you need to live a victorious, Christian life. That meets the need for goodness. But the question is, “Does the Holy Spirit have you?” If He’s a person and He’s a divine Person, He wants to control your life.
Do you know what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit? By the way, it’s a command in the Greek; it’s not an option. It’s also all-inclusive; everyone needs to be filled. It’s also in the passive voice, so it would say, “Let the Spirit fill you.” And it’s in the present tense, so it means continuing, ongoing, habitually letting the Spirit fill you.
So the question is, “Does the Spirit control your life?” To be filled with the Spirit means He’s controlling your thoughts, your actions, your attitudes. It means to be surrendered and yielded to the Holy Spirit’s power.
The third category of the work of the Holy Spirit is in sanctification, John 17:17. “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” The sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit is that He sanctifies you and makes you more like Jesus Christ. He fills you with His fruit, Galatians 5:22-23, of “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
And the fourth category of the work of the Holy Spirit is in service. You can’t serve the Lord except through the power of the Holy Spirit; you can’t do it in the energy of the flesh.
So Scriptures, salvation, sanctification and service all relate to the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. The Holy Spirit gives us His gifts for the building up of others to the glory of God.
Now I want to close with John 16:13-14 again. Jesus said, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”
The number one purpose of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Jesus. Is Jesus being glorified in your life? Is the Holy Spirit shining out of your life to others? Do others see Christ in you? Maybe you have the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit doesn’t have you. So you need to surrender to His control, to His guidance, to His leading. Don’t quench Him, don’t resist Him, don’t grieve Him.
Jesus said, in John 7:37-38, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” Then John said, “But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
Jesus did go back to heaven, He did send the Holy Spirit and He is here in all His fullness. Our lives can be filled with His power. We can have the Comforter with us, others can be built up and Jesus can be glorified when we live for Him.
Pastor John Miller continues our series Great Doctrines Of The Bible with an expository message through John 14:16-18 titled, “The Doctrine Of God The Holy Spirit.”